WASHINGTON - John McCain and Bill Richardson got their most prized keepsakes 40 years apart, from the same hand.
Richardson got his Ted Williams' autographed baseball as a boy during an outing to Fenway Park with his dad in the mid-1950s, before he became a top prep-school and college pitcher. McCain got his in a visit to a childhood hero just 10 years ago.
Their common treasure was revealed when AP asked presidential candidates to name their most prized possession. Fred Thompson's campaign answered tongue in cheek.
New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton: No answer Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards (laughing): "I hate these questions because they always require more thought than I have time to give them.
Prized like long-term or short-term? My running shoes are very important to me."
Illinois Sen. Barack Obama: "Photograph in my office of the cliffs of Oahu's South Shore, where my mother's ashes are scattered."
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson: "Baseball signed by Ted Williams."
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani: "My grandfather's pocket watch."
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee: "Probably my Tobias bass guitar or maybe, I've got a handmade musket rifle that was made by a guy in Eureka Springs, Ark. I've hunted turkey with it. It's really an amazing firearm.
Probably one of those two as far as just real heirlooms."
Arizona Sen. John McCain: "I have a baseball signed by Ted Williams, my childhood hero, a Marine pilot as well."
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney: 1962 Rambler American, which his sons bought for him. "The last year that my dad was president of American Motors and made Ramblers was 1962, so it's a connection with my dad and that era."
Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson: "Trophy wife."
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AP writers Amy Lorentzen in Iowa and Philip Elliott in New Hampshire contributed to this report.